The BenQ EW3280U is a very good all-around monitor with a clear focus on multimedia entertainment. But it can also appeal to gamers who have an AMD GPU by taking advantage of its FreeSync compatibility. The large 32-inch display delivers immersive gaming fun with its very good image quality and ample viewing area.
The BenQ EW3280U 4K screen comes with a minimalist design and is equipped with all the modern interfaces, such as USB-C, that one could ask for. However, you will have to accept compromises in other areas, such as the lack of ergonomic adjustment options. The monitor isn’t cheap, currently starting at around $699, but it’s not far-fetched for a large screen with its capabilities.
BenQ EW3280U: The specs
Visually, the BenQ EW3280U sports a restrained, elegantly simple design with a filigree base that stably supports the 32-inch model. The main disadvantage is with the ergonomic adjustment options—the rather large screen cannot be rotated or adjusted in height—which takes away from the other high-quality aspects of its design.
With the refresh rate limited to a relatively low 60Hz coupled with its high resolution, the BenQ EW3280U is more of a specialist monitor when it comes to gaming. It will work well for games with sophisticated graphics-oriented and detailed representation, such as Witcher 3, where not every frame-per-second is important. But it will undoubtedly lead to some ghosting and tearing when playing fast-paced multiplayer games.
Of course, the monitor is only compatible with AMD’s FreeSync technology, so you should try to pair this monitor with a computer running an AMD GPU to take full advantage of the synchronization technology. Working with an AMD discrete graphics card, the monitor delivers impressive and error-free gaming performance with FreeSync activated, displaying outstanding image quality with high brightness, rich contrast, and strong natural colors.
BenQ EW3280U: Ports
The array of interface ports on the BenQ EW3280U is plentiful and, in addition to 2x HDMI and 1x DisplayPort, also includes a USB-C interface that delivers 60 watts of power delivery. The corresponding cables are also included in the box so you are free to use whichever is best for your setup.
Benq EW3280U: Menu and features
The screen menu is clearly structured and can be conveniently controlled via a five-way joystick on the right rear of the housing. A small remote control is included with the monitor that has a neat rotary wheel in the middle for adjusting the volume of the speakers.
One of the features on this monitor that impressed us the most was the two stereo speakers. They are supported by a respectable sub-woofer, which delivers a surprisingly full and rich sound. While its common for monitors nowadays to include built-in speakers, they are typically an afterthought. These monitor speakers produce excellent treble and bass response even when playing the most demanding audio with strong bass lines.
BenQ EW3280U: Power consumption
With a power consumption of around 43 watts in operation at maximum brightness, the BenQ EW3280U is towards the low end when compared to other 4K 32-inch displays. Additionally, in standby mode the energy requirement drops to a low 0.4 watts.
The BenQ EW3280U monitor not only delivers great performance for gaming and multimedia entertainment, but it throws in a few surprising features as well such as the excellent built-in audio system, low power consumption, and a practical remote to control everything. You’ll also find plenty of ports for all of your connections. It does have a disappointingly low refresh rate and the lack of ergonomic adjustment options can mean you need to find creative ways to change the height on a desk, but overall this is a solid monitor worthy of displaying the latest movies or blasting your favorite music.
This review originally appeared on PC-Welt, PCWorld’s German sister site.